Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Magha Puja

The full moon day of the third lunar month is an important day in Terevada Buddhism, marking 1,250 followers spontaneously dedicating themselves to Buddhism one day long ago. It's a major holiday in Thailand, so people had a three-day weekend and there were fireworks and carnivals in the streets the night before. In the morning, followers bring gifts to the monks and in the evening, every temple has a re-dedication ceremony for followers. Buddhists gather to chant with the monks for an hour or so, then all walk around the temple three times with candles. I joined the ceremony at Chiang Mai's Wat Chang Man. I wasn't so great at the chanting, but I figure I held up my end on the "triple circumambulation."

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